100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan

Day 30 – Carrot, Ginger, & Miso Soup

day30

Carrots again !?! You might ask . . .

Yes, carrots again . . . this is what happens when you buy a big bag of any ingredient. Obviously, things are less expensive when you buy them in bulk, and if you want to be sustainable in your cooking, then it does not pay to let the extras go to waste. Soups are a great way to use up large amounts of vegetables that need cooking.

This recipe for Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup, from Dish magazine, combines the carrots with traditionally Japanese flavors. Miso is a Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley, soybeans, salt and a particular fungus called kōjikin. The result is a thick paste, that is high is protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, used for sauces, spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with soup stock. Miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan, and is still widely used, both in traditional and modern Japanese cooking. Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. There is a wide variety of miso available, and different varieties of miso can be described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. I tend to always keep Miso in the fridge, as miso soup makes a great quick meal, and it can be used to add flavor and protein into many dishes, both in Japanese cuisine and more western modern vegetarian cooking.

Just a quick tip . . . if you have left over fresh ginger, pop it into the freezer. Once frozen it will last for months, and when used in cooking the frozen ginger thaws and has the same robust flavor as when it was fresh. This trick can also be used for saving chilli peppers.

Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup

adapted from: Dish Magazine

SERVES: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5 cm or 1 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 kg or 2.2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, spring onions, and sesame oil for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over a high heat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened.

Add the carrots and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Add the miso paste and vegetable stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Blend until smooth, and then divide into bowls for serving.

Garnish with the spring onion, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, and a drizzle of sesame oil.

ENJOY!!

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Desert, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Spiced Fruit Compote

Compote

So . . . I was having a discussion this week with a friend about ways to use up large amounts of apples that need eating, and she suggested an apple compote with cardamom, cloves, and ginger.

I was planning on making the Ricotta Stuffed Kumara Pancakes from my Day 24 post for Sunday brunch, and this seemed like the perfect thing to give this already decadent recipe that extra little something special. I used apples, dried apricots, and dried cranberries, but you can pretty much use any fresh and dried fruit combination that takes your fancy.

Making fruit compotes like this is more about adding a dash of this and sprinkle of that rather than an exact science; so the measurements below are approximations. Use your own discretion and tastes to make the recipe perfect for you.

Although I used butter, simply replace it with Olivani or your favorite non-dairy butter like substance, to make this a vegan treat.

Spiced Fruit Compote

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 small apples, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 – 5 cloves
  • 3 – 5 whole cardamom pods
  • 1/4 cup water

Place the fruit, butter, brown sugar, and spices into a saucepan over a medium heat. Cover the pot, and let the fruit cook down into the the butter and sugar liquid and start to caramelize.

Let fruit cook for 15 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally so that nothing starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep a watch and if there does not seem to be enough liquid add water a little bit at a time. If you like your compote more saucy use more water, if you like it more chunky than use less. You may or may not use the whole 1/4 cup of water.

Taste the compote during the cooking time and adjust spices to your personal tastes.

Before serving, remove the cloves and cardamom pods.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Mains, Recipes, Vegan

Day 5 – Indian Curried Chickpeas with Fresh Ginger and Coriander

Day5

WOW . . . this dish packs quite a lot of flavor and spice. I like spicy food, and I had to keep my yogurt nearby.

book3Although the best part about this recipe is that it is made in a slow cooker. Slow cookers are one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment (that and my immersion/stick blender; both of which are used in this recipe). There is nothing better than coming home after a long day of work to a warm meal  that has been slowly bubbling away for hours cooking down and gaining flavor. Usually, most recipe books for slow cookers are very meat-centric, so usually I just make up my own concoctions, but it is always nice to get inspiration from somewhere. A couple years ago a friend gave me The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker  cook book as a birthday present. This is literally one of the best birthday presents I have ever received!! The book is organized by country and it has so many amazing recipes for ways to use a slow cooker that I have never imagined.

Chickpeas or Chana are commonly found in Indian cooking, especially vegetarian Indian cooking. With this recipe there is still a bit of work to be done at the end; the spices and fresh ingredients are added last after the chickpeas have been simmering all day to preserve the flavor and the freshness of these elements. As I mentioned earlier this recipe is SPICY!! You can adjust it for your own spice tolerance by varying the amount of cayenne pepper used.

Indian Curried Chickpeas with Fresh Ginger and Coriander

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 green cardamon pods
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure chili powder
  • 30 mm  piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, or vary for your spice tolerance)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Yogurt for serving
  • 3 fresh serrano (or NZ green) chiles, seeded, deveined, and cut into julienne, for garnish
  • rough chopped coriander, for garnish

Thoroughly rinse the chickpeas and place them in the slow cooker insert along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hrs (pretty much while you are at work), until the chickpeas are tender.

In a large saute pan, brown the onion in the sesame oil until dark brown in colour, about 10 -15 min.

spicesNow the fun part . . . combine the cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, chile powder, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne in an electric coffee mill or mortar and pestle and grind to a coarse powder/paste. If you do not have either an electric coffee mill or mortar and pestle then put spices into a heavy bowl and use the bottom of a glass  or jar to grind the spices down. I love the look and smell of all these beautiful spices combining together.

Add the coarsely ground spices to the onion and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, then add the onion and spices to the cooked chickpeas. Recover and continue cooking for another 30 – 60 minutes.

Using an immersion/stick blender, puree some of the chickpeas in the insert, and mix through to thicken the mixture.

Add salt to taste, then stir in the lemon juice. Ladle into bowls, add a dallop of yogurt, and garnish with chile slices and fresh coriander.

ENJOY!!

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